In which a bizarre word game ensues with a mad wizard
Shaking off the feeling that something… hairy… had stirred her awake, Camille climbed from her hammock and made her way to a gentle creek that could now flow though the liberated forest. She caught her reflection as she leaned in to take a sip of water and was shocked to see that she had grown a full moustache overnight. “Well would you look at that,” she said, running a finger over the brown whiskers. Suddenly, the whiskers at the end of the moustache flapped and it flew right off her face. “Oh my,” she said, looking at the moustache that had once been her own, “And who might you be?”
The light brown moustache stretched its whiskers and fluttered away across the creek without offering a response. Camille followed it, too curious to let it go without discovering its intentions. She crossed the creek, using rocks as stepping-stones, and then took off after the rogue moustache. She hopped about trying to catch the moustache but it was far too elusive. “Where are you taking me?” she thought, but the thought was cut short by a second moustache that was travelling in the opposite direction, which proceeded to land on Camille’s face making it look as if she had a unibrow. “The cheek of you!” she said, stomping her foot. She pried the second moustache from her face and, holding it in her palm, reprimanded its behavior, “Rudeness will get you nowhere in life, little moustache.” Moustaches are, by nature, devoid of politeness though; they do as they please to whom they please. They are creatures of amusement, plain and simple. So when Camille reprimanded the moustache for its impolite gesture it simply responded by flying away with the first moustache. Camille was once again in pursuit.
She followed the two moustaches into a grove that was filled with loud, crazed laughter, as if someone was simultaneously being tickled while tickling someone. Curiosity pulled Camille’s legs towards the laughter and the moustaches. Was there some secret to be discovered? Camille surely believed so, that is until she saw the source of the laughing and the destination of the moustaches. It was a crazed man wearing a female’s bonnet and dressed in a flowery garden dress playing with hundreds of blonde, brown, red, and black moustaches.
“Hello there,” said Camille, easing her way into the grove.
The crazed man was running in circles around the grove with a trail of moustaches chasing behind him. Around and around he went, giggling and bouncing with both hands in the air. “Hello?” said Camille again, which did the trick. But in Fiddlewood there is no ownership over tricks and tomfoolery, so when the goofy man heard her, he paused and looked at Camille, his head titled to the side at a ninety degree angle, and then immediately fell to the grass on his back and fell into a new laughing fit.
“What’s so funny,” demanded Camille.
The man shot up and said, “Your outfit is ridiculous,” before another wave of rich laughter spilled forth, hiccups and all.
Camille looked at her outfit, which consisted of black shoes with white buckles, black stockings, a black skirt with white lace trimming, a white blouse with a collar, a thin red cardigan, and a red headband. She was immensely confused by what he meant. “Whatever do you mean?” she said.
Without even lifting his head off the ground the man said, “You haven’t a single moustache on your entire person! Hiccup!”
“I beg your pardon, but neither do you, whoever you are,” replied Camille.
The man lifted his head off the ground again and his face was almost entirely covered with moustaches. “Is that so,” he said, slyly, while lifting his eyebrow – or was it a moustache?
“That doesn’t count. That’s your face not your outfit. And besides you look ridiculous wearing that woman’s bonnet and that dress,” said Camille.
“Open your eyes, silly goose, this is a wizard’s attire, not a woman’s,” said the man.
“I am not the silly goose, you are the silly goose,” retorted Camille.
“That’s coming from a girl without a single moustache!” hiccupped the man, as he clambered to his feet. “Here, allow me to increase your credibility . . . Close your eyes.” And with that the man began to apply moustaches all over Camille’s face; giving her a moustache made out of a moustache, a unibrow made out of a moustache, and sideburns made out of moustaches. “Voulla!” he said, when he was finished, then pulled out a hand mirror from under his hat and showed Camille his work.
“The cheek!” stomped Camille, prying the moustache from her eyebrows. “You, sir, are just as rude as your moustaches,” said Camille, stiffening her arms by her side.
“Your moustaches are unequivocal, so what you say must be true. And might I add, you look absolutely gorgeous under the light of those moustaches,” said the man.
“Is this a game of wits you’re trying to trick me with?” asked Camille, crossing her arms.
“Silly goose, this is clearly a game of moustaches we are playing. What is a game of wits anyhow?” said the man.
“There is no winning with you. You are clearly mad,” said Camille.
“No winning?” shouted the man while rolling over backwards and jumping back up to his feet in one swift motion. “You came here with zero moustaches and now have dozens,” exclaimed with both hands in the air.
Camille looked down to see that her hair was now touching the ground. But it was not really her hair but an extension of moustaches that had tangled themselves in her locks.
“I’ve had enough of this nonsense. I’m leaving,” said Camille.
“You should watch what you say around moustaches, silly goose. They take word games very seriously,” said the crazed wizard.
“This is far from a word game, sir. A word game would be me saying something and you saying the first thing that comes to mind,” said Camille. “Now–“
“Moustache!” said the man with delight.
“Moustache!” interrupted the man, the smile growing on his face.
“Moustache!” interrupted the man again.
“Leaving,” finished Camille.
“Moustache!” declared the man, as he fell back onto the grass under the weight of another thunderous laughing fit.
Suddenly, just as the crazed man had warned her, the moustaches took her declaration literally and the dozens of moustaches entangled in Camille’s hair began to flap their whiskers. Her hair levitated above her head and lifted her body from the ground. The moustaches flew Camille out of the grove with her arms stubbornly crossed, while the sounds of the crazed wizard laughing in the grove with his company of moustaches trailed behind her. Quite annoyed she declared him to be the strangest man in Fiddlewood and vowed never to speak with him or his foul moustaches again. Little did she know that promise would be an impossible one to keep.